Columbia residents can comment on proposed downtown housing Monday

Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:48 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Developers reached an agreement with the Columbia City Council to help pay for sewer connections in exchange for building permits for three new housing developments downtown.

COLUMBIA — The frozen progress of downtown development thawed after three student-housing developers agreed to bear some of the cost for downtown infrastructure improvements.

These three projects are the first of eight proposed downtown developments that could begin moving forward after being put on hold.

On Monday, the public will have the chance to comment on the developers' plans before the city votes on the development agreements Wednesday.

Here's a rundown of the three projects being considered, along with details of proposed agreements to help pay for sewer connections and other work in exchange for building permits by April 1. These payments will be in addition to the standard connection fees developers pay the city.

Collegiate Housing Partners plans to build a six-story apartment structure with 351 beds on the south side of Conley Street, in between Fourth and Fifth streets. The development will be called The Residences.

  • Status: The site has been cleared and zoning approved. If the development agreement is approved, it should be completed by August 2015.
  • Sewer: Collegiate Housing Partners would pay a $150,000 prorated share towards a city-built sewer main that connects to the main downtown line. The developer would also fund and construct an adjacent line from the development to the city-built connecting main.
  • Parking: The Residences plans 115 on-site parking spaces and, per the development agreement, would pay for 50 spaces in the city garage at the intersection of Fifth and Walnut streets for the residents to park in.

Opus Development Co. wants to construct a six-story building with 256 beds on the north side of Locust Street, between Seventh and Eighth streets.

  • Status: If approved, the developer hopes to have the project completed by the end of August 2015.
  • Sewer: Opus has agreed to pay $200,000 for a city-built connecting sewer main under Sixth Street between Locust and Elm streets.
  • Water utilities: The developer has agreed to pay the city $250,000 to widen a water main beneath Locust and Seventh streets. Opus will also pay for the entire cost of storm water improvements at the site. Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine said he does not yet know how much that will cost.
  • Electric: The developer provided the city with projected electrical load requirements needed for the project, and the city has guaranteed to provide service so long as the load capacity is at or below the projected requirements and the project is completed on time, according to the development agreement.
  • Parking: Early conceptual designs show that the developer will build a 62-space interior parking structure below the building. The land is zoned C-2, which has no parking requirements for developments. The development agreement states that any future changes the city makes to C-2 zoning will not be applicable to the project.

American Campus Communities wants to build a five-story building with 718 beds at the intersection of Turner Avenue and Providence Road.

  • Status: The project has rezoning request pending for the property that would change it from residential use to a planned-unit development. The City Council will do a second reading of the rezoning agreement at Monday's meeting. If approved, the developer hopes to have the project completed by August 2016. American Campus Communities will not buy the land unless the zoning and development agreements pass, according to the development agreement.
  • Sewer: The developer is paying a prorated $300,000 share toward the same city-built sewer main as Collegiate Housing Partners. With more than double Collegiate Housing Partner's 351 beds at 718, American Campus Communities is paying twice as much for the $450,000 total cost of the connecting main.
  • Water: If the existing water main capacity is determined to be inadequate by the city, American Campus Communities will pay for the entire cost of constructing a replacement, according to the development agreement. The estimated cost of the water main replacement is $300,000, according to the agreement.
  • Electric: The city has agreed to pay for the needed electric improvements to serve the project. If the city hasn't constructed the needed improvements by the project's August 2016 completion, the city will still provide service. However, if the project isn't completed on time, American Campus Communities will have to pay a monthly fee based on the site's electric usage in order to receive service.
  • Parking: The student-housing project will build a parking structure that will provide 546 parking spaces for residents, or about 3 spaces to every 4 beds, according to the zoning agreement.

Columbia residents will have the chance to weigh in on the three development agreements at the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Daniel Boone City Building.

On Wednesday, the council will vote during a special meeting after its retreat.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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